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All the World's Seeds

NPR's Morning Edition likens the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Colorado to "a big insurance policy." The center, a seed vault, houses billions of seeds and other genetic material from livestock, fish, microbes, and more, under tight security. The center, reporter Luke Runyon says, serves as a backup for other seed collections around the US and around the world, storing them just in case there is a regional, or larger, loss of crops or livestock.

Despite the center's strict security, Runyon notes that it was recently at the center of an investigation after some Monsanto wheat plants were found growing as volunteers in Oregon earlier this year. (The vault also houses some seeds from ag firms.) The center, though, incinerated its Monsanto seeds a year and a half ago at the company's request, and the US Department of Agriculture has cleared the center and turned its investigation in a different direction, he adds.

The Scan

RNA Editing in Octopuses Seems to Help Acclimation to Shifts in Water Temperature

A paper in Cell reports that octopuses use RNA editing to help them adjust to different water temperatures.

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.